THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, The N.S.W. Nurses' Association Rooms, “Northcote Building” , Reiby Place, Sydney. Box NO.4476 G.P.O., Sydney. Phone JW1262
308 AUGUST 1960 Price 1/
|Editor||Don Matthews, 33 Pomona Street, Pennant Hills. WJ3514|
|Sales & Subs.||Eileen Taylor|
|Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Social Notes - Pam Baker||2|
|The 1960 Walking Trial - M. McGregor||2|
|At Our July Meeting Alex Colley||3|
|The Knightleys Farewell - Kath McKay||4|
|Letter to the Editor - A. Strom||6|
|Sanitarium Health Food - Advertisement||7|
|Head Due South - Carl Doherty||7|
|Hatswell's Taxi & Tourist Service Advertisement||9|
|The Vagabond - Clarice Morris||12|
|Some Weekend Walks||14|
|Cradle Mountain - Lake St. Clair Reserve - R.Craggs||15|
|Flight to London - Ron Knightley||17|
FEDERATION BALL FRIDAY 23RD SEPTEMBER, 1960 8.30 p m. - 1.30 a m. AT PADDINGTON TOWN HALL, TICKETS 21/-. TROPHY FOR BEST DECORATED TABLE. PROFITS TO S. & R. FUND.
AUGUST 17TH Keith Renwick will show more of his slides - this time of England and Iceland.
AUGUST 24TH “Living Gods and Women Merchants” will be the topic when Marie Byles talks and shows slides of the Burmese people. Supper will be served in the Clubroom.
AUGUST 31ST Debate.
SEPTEMBER 21ST The Royal Life Saving Society has agreed to bring along one or two films to supplement the talk, which will be on Water Safety. Supper will be available to members.
SEPTEMBER 28TH Angela McMahon (one of the Landrover party who travelled with Lyn and Bookie) will show something of her travels: “Overland to India”.
This year the trial, to be held on the weekend September 16-17-18, will be in the Blue Mountains area as before.
The one difference is that for this trial the organisers (me and me mates) will select a number of trips of varying mileage etc. and these will be sealed in envelopes. On the outside of each envelope the following details will appear.
Mileage - Type of trip, e g. easy - very rough - B—y Impossible etc. The starting point, e g. Train to Blackheath, car to Jenolan. The names of the maps covering the area of the trip.
At the General Meeting before the above weekend all the envelopes will be available for selection by the participants. There will be several trips in each type, say six each of 10, 20, 30, 40 miles to choose from. What this amounts to is that you don't know where you are going until you open the envelope. At this same meeting a sheet with the handicaps for all the trips will be sealed. This will be opened when all parties have checked in on the Saturday night. The finishing point will be the gate at Carlon's, at the junction of Galong Creek and Green Gully Creek.
Remember to check in as soon as you arrive for each minute will count in one way or another in the adjustment of the results.
NEXT MONTH: “Shale Mining Near Katoomba”. An account of the history of mining under Narrow Neck, by John Luxton.
Our meeting commenced without a President and with apologies from both Vice-Presidents. The Presidential vacuum was filled by ex-President Jim Brown, who carried on until history was made by the election of Jack Gentle, the first ex- President to be re-elected to office. George Grey was elected Vice President in Jack Gentle's place.
Two new members mere welcomed at the start of the meeting - Greg Grennan and Frank Rochka.
Social Secretary Pam Baker surveyed both past and future in her monthly report. The dance had been a social and financial success, resulting in a profit of 11/9d. So had been the night at the Royal Theatre, when 53 had come to see the Spanish Dancers and yielded a surplus of 1.5.6d. The only loss was 4/- on supper in the Clubroom. Pam gave us the good news that Professor Griffith Taylor will be coming to give us another lecture in October - the subject “South with Scott in 1913”. She hoped to be able to arrange a theatre evening to see “My Fair Lady”.
Frank Ashdown offered the thanks of members to Pam far a very happy evening at the Spanish dances, but thought it was unfair that she should have to bear all the expense of the tickets herself until members paid up. There were some financial difficulties in making an advance for the purpose, so, on a motion by Brian Harvey, it was referred to the committee.
Kath Brown expressed appreciation of the report on past as well as future social events, and hoped we should continue to hear the financial results of our pleasures.
Snow Brown told us that the Federation was (once again) considering the production of a Federation Annual. It had been ascertained that it would be a reasonable financial proposition. A. production manager had been secured, and there were hopes of an editor from the S.B.W. The matter was put to the vote and all except one favoured the publication of an annual.
Walks Secretary Eric Adcock told us that although he had reports on only 5 of the 9 walks in June, they bad been attended by 68 persons, including 38 members. Nearly 3 times as many had attended the Harvey's camp fire to farewell Ron Nightley. Kath Brown expressed our thanks to the Harveys for making possible this very enjoyable evening.
After some words from Frank Ashdown on the desirability of helping Church organisations who formed bushwalking clubs, and sometimes got into difficulties in the bush, the meeting closed, leaving the Club complete with a President and Vice-Presidents, at 7 minutes to 9.
THE LATEST THING
Ski-ing types held a Silicone party at Lyndsey Gray's home recently. About 8 gallons of Silicone solution were consumed in proofing (or so they hope) a wide variety of gear. Superiority or otherwise over old fashioned but effective methods should be known in a few week's time.
On July 2nd the Sydney Bush Walkers said goodbye to their President, Ron Knightley, his wife Dorothy and their two children, Sharon and Stephen.
They are being sent to England for a year or two by Ron's employers. They had very short notice of departure, but with their usual efficiency, let their house, sold their car, and are all rearing to go. Dorothy and the children leave by ship, the “Strathmore”, on July 7th, and Ron by air on 8th. Of this more anon.
To let their friends have a last word with them, Brian and Jean Harvey, ever ready - like a famous brand of torch battery - staged a super farewell party in their beautiful garden. They had some misgivings about holding a reunion in the depths of winter, but the camp-fire, fed by Brian's seemingly inexhaustible supply of log, was magnificent, and the chancy weather was kind. The night was still and starlit, and there was a young moon.
Tongues wagged as only the tongues of bushwalkers can, and a meal did not baulk conversation one whit. A barbecue fireplace was provided for those who wished to grill, and The House supplied huge pots of tea. As darkness fell, an arc light fixed on a tall tree stump (festooned with what must be a glory of wisteria in its season) lit up the faces of the assembled multitude, seated by companies on the sloping grass. Between 150 and 160 souls, Brian estimated the gathering, and the numbers of children were quite bewildering. He welcomed many old members, making special mention of Ray and Peter Page - “walked all the way from Jamberoo” - and of Tarro, the evergreen, born 1878 and still going strong.
Paddy Pallin began the concert by conducting us in the traditional “Fires Burning” and other old favourites, (“Wonderful to be able to see you all” he said, commenting on the bright light. “I can't; usually, at camp-fires”.) and later led a score of littleys in kindergarten songs, himself the biggest child of them all. With words unfailing, boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm (“Just a moment while I peel off a layer or two so that the tonsils can work”) he had the children all hopping and gesticulating by the cheery camp-fire, a charming picture with their bright woollies and equally bright faces. Gil Webb conducted us too, Eric Roman sang, and there were sketches by the gifted male chorus. There was a highly successful repeat of a Christmas opera concerning the ill-tempered Mayor of Yerranderie, the So-long Caves and the Troggy Troggy Crew of speliologists. But the item that brought down the house was one specially written for the departing President. Clasping the Bone of Office and wrapped in unassailable dignity and a warm winter dressing gown, he took his stand beside a row of gentlemen well-known in the club. Malcolm McGregor read a short history of the tribe (bushwalkers) whose representatives they were, pausing now and then so that they might tell us in their own words what had occurred. They spoke no English, but each, as occasion required it, uttered the single syllable: “Ug:” Jim Brown, script in hand, scurried about from one to the other, interpreting and explaining this mystic word, and even the audience, called on to give three cheers: shouted 'ug, ug, ug:“ The only time that Jim was at a loss for an interpretation was then a former president, Rough (Jack Gentle) handed Daily (Ron Knightley) a glass of liquid with the admonition: “Ug:”, translated by Jim as: “This will put hair on your chest!” Daily downed it and said emphatically: “Ug:” “This” said Jim “is untranslatable. It means simply: Ug”
So the joyous evening drew to a close, and the time came for us to charge our mugs (with hard Liquor, once again on The House) and wish the guests of honour a happy voyage. In reply to the toast, Ron said he was looking forward to England and should have a good time there. He calculated that there would be nearly five weeks before the wife arrived, and Paris was very close and one could easily fly over for the weekend. Incidentally, when booking passages he had gone into a shipping office and explained that he was leaving by air on July 8th, and could they give the wife and children berths in a ship sailing shortly beforehand. The clerk replied yes, they could fix that up: there was the “Strathmore”, sailing on the 7th, and the lurk was to take the kids along to the nursery, dump them there and forget about them. You could then go off to the swimming pool etc. and have a good time yourself.
“Tell me” said the clerk, struck by a sudden thought “about this wife. Is she a good-looker?”
“Oh, not bad” said Ron cautiously.
“Well” said the clerk confidentially “you want to watch out, brother”
So, Ron concluded, he and Dorothy had mutual agreement: No Questions Asked.
We all sang For They Are Jolly Good Fellows, Jack Gentle voiced our thanks to the hospitable Harveys, and drops of rain descended as the meeting broke up, a little early, but everyone well content.
Rock Climbing Instructional
AUGUST 13-1/4 Blackheath - Blue Gum Lockley Pylon - Mt. Hay - Leura. Basic instruction in SAFE rock climbing methods. Comfortable camping in Bits Gum Forest. Leader: Colin Putt. Map: Katoomaba Military.
AUGUST 19-20-21 Mittagong - car to Joadja Creek area - Wingecarribee River - Wollondilly River - The Batteries - Wingecarribee River - Mittagong. The middle Wingecarribee is pleasant and open, but the lower six miles are non stop rock hopping: some spectacular narrows in this lower granite gorge. The Wollondilly is a pleasant change (on Sunday), followed by a 1200 ft. ascent, a plateau crossing and a 800 ft. drop back into the Wingecarribee. Expect mile an hour going on the lower Wingecarribee. If owners of private transport propose going on trip, early advice will be appreciated to simplify arrangements. Otherwise please contact leader. Leader: Jim Brown. Map: Mittagong Military.
3 Coopernook Avenue, Gymea Bay. July 17th, 1960.
I read in the July Edition of your notable publication of Alex Colley's trip to the land “Just Beyond the Bulldozers”. Alex and his friends were impressed with the high quantity of natural values which the land held, with the wildlife and with the spiritual refreshment which the waterways, wide heaths and colourful shoreline endowed upon them.
And so they should for this land is the Nadgee Faunal Reserve dedicated to the “preservation, care, propagation and study of fauna” - all 28,000 acres.
Now I wonder why Alex didn't stress that point? To an ardent campaigner for Nature Conservation as I understand Alex to be, I would have thought this was the opportunity of opportunities - stressing how jubilant we would be to know that Nadgee is now held in perpetuity for the conservation of fauna and the natural environments in which they live. Perhaps he could have also stressed the responsibility that each and everyone of us - bushwalkers more than most - have to ensure its proper management Here is a most opportune time to stir the laggard and the selfish pleasure seeking rambler by saying: “This place of beauty will not survive for tomorrow's children unless you and I are vigilant and active for nature conservation!”
Then in his last paragraph Alex adopts a line I find most abhorrent. He says that Nadgee is “too good” to stay as it is and “if you want to see the last bit of natural coast, go soon”. Perhaps I can be forgiven for suspecting that there is a feeling of “get in for your cut, whilst the going is good” or “to hell with those who come after us”. The whole story of most who enjoy the bush lands has been unfortunately, to forget their responsibility to the bush which gave them enjoyment.
Faunal Reserves are public lands and they belong to the people as a whole. Therefore the people must have the right to use them - no one has more right than any other - provided any user agrees to make his use fit the purpose of the Reserve.
The only way in which to ensure that the Nadgee Faunal Reserve shall remain as Alex found it, is to have adequate and efficient, management located “on the spot”, and” screening“ those who would seek to enjoy the natural values which Reserve possesses. This means manpower and money. To get manpower and money, the people of this State must be loud in their claims and pressures on the Government. Will your readers help? How happy will Alex and his friends be about being “screened” sometime?
(Sgd.) Allen A. Strom.
Following Snow Brown losing his party on the Wolgan last year the requests for another such trip were so great that it was agreed to make it an annual event. This year the “Let's get lost on the Wolgan” was led by that master of incompetence and. burgling, one Robert A. Duncan. A harbinger of things to come occurred the preceding Wednesday night when Duncan took an hour to arrange the 'seating of eleven people in three cars. He did however give us a detailed briefing, the main points being a total distance of 30-35 miles, days distances to 0.25 of a mile, a constant pace would be set, walking would commence at 6 a m. and if necessary he would use force to maintain the schedule.
We reached Newnes at 1 am, and the trouble started. My four “lady” passengers thought it unnecessary to pitch the tent and were debating who would sleep in the car and whop would sleep under the tent. As it may have lasted all nigh and they were not considering accommodating me either in the car or the tent I solved their problem - I locked the tent in the boot and took possession of the back seat leaving them to choose a suitable tree for shelter. First light found our illustrious leader ringing an electric bell in our ears. The effect on Helen Barrett was to cause her to say “Answer that phone, someone”, revolve once, and continue her slumber.
At eight, somewhat behind schedule, the leader headed downstream whilst George Grey headed upstream. These differences of opinion with respect to navigation became the prime feature of our attempts to get lost. That the party led by Snow had only reached Annie Rowan's clearing on the first day, a distance of four miles, was to quote the Duncan - “not only disgusting but absurd also. See that my party reaches Bullring Creek by dusk”. By nine the ruins were reached and a pleasant hour was spent playing boats and sunbaking in an open tank on the roof of the candle factory. Eventually we moved on but we covered barely half a mile when we came upon a bushfire. With a little encouragement from Heather, our conservation spirit pervaded us, so we downed backs and set to. All our efforts to extinguish one tree were in vain until Dot threw earth over it. What a predicament - contrary to The Club's rule we had extinguished a fire with dirt. Should we waive the rule or set all on fire again? Fortunately our problem was solved by Snow bringing a bucket of water from the creek. Eleven thirty saw the fire and our schedule out so we pressed on. The delay was obviously causing the leader great concern for upon reaching the mine he promptly dropped his pack and led off down the tunnel. Our inspection took but half an hour and thereafter we had great difficulty restraining Bob from roaming off towards every likely looking ruin.
Even before lunch it was obvious to all that Lyndsey's leg injury was causing her considerable trouble and subsequently the party's speed would have to be reduced. A fine effort was made by all but due to our inspecting, exploring, sunbaking, firefighting, ambling and rambling we managed to reach Arnie Rowan's in time to camp, thus giving a repeat performance of Snow's trip. The spirits of most were high and humour was not lacking, in fact Heather's remarks were rather astounding. Late in the evening Snow, from his sleeping bag, suggested a brew but the water buckets were empty. As usual the girls looked to the male members who to a man refused the task on the grounds that the women were lighter on their feet, thus more surefooted in the dark, and it would be safer for them to go. Even Heather's eloquent though ambiguous appeals failed to inspire the men and finally Lola took up the challenge.
On Sunday morning Bob decided to curtail the walk somewhat by leading up the first likely creek downstream. On the assurance of Snow and another authority that “once above the cliff line the plateau beyond is as flat as a table” Lyndsey was encouraged to continue. The creek turned into a chimney and the view from the top was spectacular both down the valley and over the “plateau”. In fact the “plateau” was not quite as flat as had been described - as far as the eye could see it was dissected by deep ravines and canyons which seemed to follow no set drainage pattern. As a second boost to our morale Bob promptly led off along a ridge which ended abruptly on the brink of a cliff line. After playing mountain goats for several hours we reached a ridge which looked very promising. Poor Bob was rather dismayed when he realised that the beautiful deep valley to the west which he was admiring was Annie Rowan's Creek, and it now seemed that the odds were in favour of it developing into a four day trip. We walked this dry and uninteresting ridge until we reached a swamp at an opportune time for lunch. Heather, Snow, George and myself took the rearguard that afternoon and soon dropped well behind owing to Snow and George insisting on leading off down side spurs, and their peculiar habit of stopping every now and. again to eat waratah seeds. The Mount Cameron track was located after much wandering along the ridge and we overhauled the main party at dusk.
The campsite was in a shallow saddle well sheltered and with no chance of anyone drowning as there was no water within a mile. Rona and Dot devoured their leg of mutton - I do not say devoured without justification. Their method, which is rather unique, consists of ramming a stake through a pre-cooked leg and throwing it in the fire until it gets hot or you get impatient. Having removed it from the fire it is held by the stake and the thin end of the leg and revolved until a section appears which looks hot enough, smells alright, or can be torn apart without the nose obstructing the work of devouring it. It is passed from one to the other and heated as frequently as required. Another innovation was a Mellah making competition which for coagulation was won by Gwen Seach and for flavour by Heather. In order to get a flying start the following morning we rolled in rather early.
The flying start wasn't even a flutter as it was seven before anyone stirred. According to Duncan's ten miles to the inch, 250' contoured, “guess where you are” map it was a good fifteen miles walk and with no improvement in Lyndsey it showed promise of being quite a day. Lyndsey decided to leave early and asked Bob for directions. Bob looked at the map, looked to the heavens, looked at Lyndsey and said “Follow the- track till you reach the pine forest and then head due South”. Away went Lyndsey and ten minutes later Helen received the sane instructions and followed. She was soon pursued by Gwen and Lola, twenty minutes later Bob and the Butlers set off, and another twenty saw the rearguard under way.
Along the track a few miles we cam upon a recently vacated campsite which we assumed to be that of several stockmen we had met the previous day. We reached a road junction at the edge of the pine forest as Duncan's group were disappearing over a crest in a southerly direction. On the road was scratched the message “PARTY 3” and an arrow indicating the south road. There was some doubt as to whether this meant Bob's party or the third party, Gwen and Lola, but as all recent footprints had gone that way Snow was quick to take the opportunity to make an original move so he immediately led off at right angles. Fifteen minutes later we reached the old railway. The lack of footprints was evidence that the rearguard was now the vanguard and this fact afforded Snow considerable amusement. I argued that we were heading the wrong way bit before he could rearrange my sense of direction we heard dogs barking in a copse on the far side of the railway loop. Our calls were answered by a whoop so we waited instead of leaving a message and heading for the cars as Snow intended. Limping around the loop, accompanied by Gwen and Lola, came Lyndsey. A quick mental check indicated that Helen had strayed.
The stockmen offered Lyndsey a ride from their camp to the road, which accepted, but before they moved off Helen caught them up and the position was explained to her. Thinking the would soon be overtaken by the horses Helen continued on but the stockmen were rather slow to break map and Lola and Gwen reached the camp before they had moved, were told of the offer to Lyndsey and went ahead also. The minted party soon caught up to the two girls but had not sighted Helen by time they reached the pine forest junction and a glance at the road was enough to show that Helen was still travelling south at a fair turn of speed. They followed, reaching the railway road just in time to see Helen vanish at high speed, still on a course due south, towards the Lithgow slag heap. One of the stockmen and a couple of dogs took off to round up Helen while the others were given correct, directions to find Newnes. More barking from the dogs in the timber, more yelling from us and round the hill came Duncan and the Butlers so we waited a little longer. He had seen the sign on the road and followed in order to be within a day's walk of the girls and upon reaching the road was given instructions by the obliging stockmen tho also assured him that they would tale care of Helen. Duncan had not finished his tale then Helen care trotting around the hill. She stumbled up to the group and looking Duncan straight in the face said “It just goes to prove that you cannot estimate a person's intelligence”. Everyone laughed but upon enquiry I discovered that no one was quite sure whether she was referring to Duncan or herself To the indignant questions as to why he had ordered a south route instead of a westerly one he replied: “With you girls wanting to go running off before bird chirp you can't expect a man to have full command of his faculties - now, had I said east and then 180 degrees that would have been unwarranted but at that hour a slight error was permissible”
The order of march was now reversed - the idea being to reach Newnes, bring the cars up and so save Lyndsey the last four miles walk. On Dot's request a member of the Catholic Bushwalkers tho had his car at the tunnel, drove back and brought Lyndsey down to inspect the tunnel after which he drove her out to Bell. We lunched on the valley side of the tunnel and then walked down the line until we reached the road leading to the farm. Dot demonstrated her maternal responsibility in an unusual may From the time we left the pine forest she clearly marked our way with large arrows muttering as she drew them “You can't trust Duncan, he'd go astray anywhere”. Curiosity gaining the upper hard we asked - why her interest in Bob. “Well,” answered Dot, constructing a great timber arrow pointing towards the valley “Rona is with him and I don't want her to miss school tomorrow”. A lift to the pub spared us the last four miles roadbash also and speeded up our move out. With the exception of my car taking a rest on the steepest part of the road out and holding up half a dozen cars the run to Katoomba was uneventful.
On July 20th Malcolm McGregor and Jim Brown kept the full house chuckling with some rare story-telling, and followed up with a demonstration of an Electronic Brain designed to classify walkers into levels of competence or hopelessness. Some unwilling “assistance from members of the audience, cunningly devised machinery with its knobs, lights, buzzers, bells and whatnots, and some hilarious results from wrong knob pulling rounded off an enjoyable evening.
AUGUST 14 Parramatta - bus to Rouse Hill - Cattai Creek - Vineyard Station. NOTE: Owing to time-table alterations train will now leave Central Electric Station for Parramatta direct at 8.9 am. Bus will leave Parramatta Station at 9.0 am. Leader: David Ingram.
AUGUST 21 Waterfall - Uloola Falls - Heathcote. 8 miles. 8.20 a m. electric train Central to Sutherland. CHANGE at SUTHERLAND for rail motor to Waterfall. Tickets: Return to Waterfall at about 6/-. The walk will be all track walking and easy. New members and visitors will be very welcome. The leader is rarely able to come into the Club. For further information, ring him at LB6495 most evenings. Maps: Port Hacking Military, Port Hacking or National Park Tourist. Leader: Clam Hallstrom.
SEPTEMBER 4 Berowra - Waratah Bay - boat to Long Trig - Roach Trig - Cowan Trig - Terrey Hills. 10 miles. 8.15 a m. Gosford train from Central Steam Station to Berowra. (Leaves Hornsby at 8.48 a m.) Tickets: Berowra single. Total fares about 11/-. The area in near Long and Roach Trig is noted for the abundance of wild flowers growing there and is much recovered from the mauling it received from a bushfire some years ago. Map: Broken Bay Military. Hawkesbury River Tourist. Leader: David Ingram.
AUGUST 28 Turramurra - bus to Bobbin Head - Cowan Creek - Cowan. 12 miles. 8.10 a m. electric train Central Turramurra via Bridge. 8.52 a m. bus Turramurra to Bobbin Head. Tickets: Return to Cowan via Bridge at 6/2, plus 1/11 bus fare. The first 5 miles are track walking, then the pressure comes on. From Waratah Bay to the top of the escarpment is scratchy and rough. There is a very good set of aboriginal carvings in this vicinity, which it is hoped to locate. Should be same good wildflower specimens. Maps: Broken Bay Military. Hawkesbury Tourist, Leader: Jack Perry. SEPTEMBER 18 Glenbrook - Red Hand Cave - The Oaks - Glenbrook. 12 miles. 8.20 a m. Mt. Victoria train from Central Steam Station. Tickets: Glenbrook Return at 13/9d. An opportunity to visit the Red Hand (aboriginal ceremonial) Cave and to do some map reading en route to The Oaks (not to be confused with the village of the same name West of Camden). 4 miles scratchy country. Map: Liverpool Military. Leader: David Ingram.
About twelve months ago while browsing in the basement of Tyrrells secondhand book department for Australian I came upon a faded brown book with the back paper half off. The title “VAGABOND PAPERS!' intrigued me; so did the date 1876.
When it was published by George Robertson, not yet associated with Angus, in 1877, it sold for half-a-crown, now inflation and historic value have brought the price to 5/-. But its real value is worth far more than that because it gives insight into the mind of a man who came out to Australia in his own words “sick in body and mind, and broken in fortune”.
He was one of the pathfinder's of the bushwalking tradition I feel. The alternatives of existence facing the Vagabond were to “raise money, or become in truth, a vagabond”. Perhaps it is straining a point to see this migrant from England, as a forerunner of ourselves, but when I read his words “I know that as I became a vagabond in appearance, I began to feel a vagabond in my nature”, I felt in sympathy with him.
How often do we feel like that? Just recall the anxiety the females in our Club display about making themselves “respectable” on the homeward train trip. Our vagabond friend has something to say about this too; when a person loses his carefully groomed (via the bathroom) appearance “he loses this and becomes shabby, experiences a moral degradation, and feels lowered in his own eyes.”
Male bushwalkers nowadays seem to have become emancipated from this moral decay, because the majority don't care how they look . It's how they feel that counts. But the Vagabond is all with us when he examines the advantages of the wanderer. As he says “given good health, and the chance of getting something to eat every daily, I don't think the vagabond, 'homeless, ragged and tanned' has such a bad time at it during the summer months”.
This reminds me of John Bookluck, Who is at present walking through the Lakes District of England with Sheila Binns. If you recall John stalking wildflowers with a camera ready for the attack, you will appreciate not only our friend the Vagabond, but see something familiar in John B's present mode of life. The Vagabond goes on to describe the pleasures of his life “tired and exhausted, to lie on your back, shade your face under a bush, and sleep soundly, while the glorious sun roasted your limbs, that was real enjoyment”. Only a few days ago John said he was still continuing his wildflower photography, in the hedges. “When I get tired in the middle of the day, I lie down and have a nap” said John…“I'm getting very brown on the face and arms.”
Even the Vagabond has to face the winter's night. It's fine to suffer the excesses of hunger, thirst and fatigue, which most of us are familiar with, enjoying the animal pleasures of life, but we dream of that hot bath and the hot meal at the end of the day or weekend's walk. The Vagabond, by contrast, occasionally dreamed of being “clad in purple and fine linen”, of sleeping on a “couch of down (pre-sleeping bag era) but when the rain, winds and sleet of Melbourne whistled round his thin shoes, he had to take refuge in the Model Lodging House - where a bed in a dormitory could be obtained for sixpence a night, in a room of four for ninepence.
This somehow recalls tent life, for the Vagabond says farewell on the following note: “Stretching out my arm, I could easily place my hand on the forehead of the man in the next bed”. But our beds, our sleeping bags, are free – once you own one.
AUGUST 20-21 Blackheath - Perry's - Blue Gum - Grand Canyon - Blackheath. Car to Perry's Lookdown. Views of Mts. Banks, Hay etc. and Grose Valley. Steep 2000' descent to Blue Gum Forest. Camp in stand of beautiful Blue Gums. Easy creek walking to the start of the Grand Carryon. Steep ascent through the glens and past waterfalls and cascades. Map : Katoomba Military. Leader: Pam Baker.
AUGUST 26-27-28 Blackheath - Carlon's - Breakfast Creek - Coxs River - Black Dog - Narrow Neck - Katoomba. Track and rock hopping down Breakfast Creek. Fairly easy going along this delightful open section of the Cox's with crossings necessary. Pass Kanangra River junction, Kowmung River junction - climb out via Black Dog spur (views up Cox's River), Taro's ladder and Narrow Neck. Views from the Neck of country traversed, of Central Blue Mountains area, Warragamba backwaters, Mt. Solitary. Maps: Myles Dunphy Map of Gargerang s Jenolan Military. Leader: Roy Craggs.
SEPTEMBER 9-10-11 Katoomba - Mt. Solitary - Korrowall Buttress - Cedar Creek - Katoomba. Camp on Narrow Neck on Friday night. Then over Mt. Solitary and down the Buttress - steady nerves needed here - rope work possible if wanted. Pleasant camp on Cedar Creek. Rock hopping up the Creek on Sunday - waterfalls and cascades. Maps: Myles Dunphy's Map of Gargerangs Jenolan Military. Leader: Jack Perry.
SEPTEMBER 10-11 Wild Flowers and Scenic Panoramas. Ferry to Manly - bus to Church Point - Ferry to Lovett's Bay - Camp at Refuge Bay. Return to the Basin, ferry to Palm Beach. Medium Walking. Wild flowers galore. Views of Hawkesbury and Pittwater. Map: Broken Bay Military. Leader: Edna Garrad.
We left Narcissus at 8 a m. Tuesday Morning, choosing the easy lakeside track in preference to the track which climbs 2,000 ft. up Byron Gap in about three miles. On approaching the lake track a small button grass plain is traversed, but the rangers had done a wonderful job of removing the grass and placing logs- to walk on. “You beaut” said yours truly and stepped forward boldly right on to the flat of my back! The logs were nice and wet, as slippery as glass, and extended far a mere 100 yards or so. Our party suffered more bruises and embarrassment here than in Meanwhile, poor Smithy was down, Hans insisted that he maintain his uncomfortable position until a photo was taken. My hat off to Smithy - he endured so much - the rain; fog; old, button grass, mud, leeches and above all, our cooking; but after all, I'm not to blame for the quality of my cooking. I did ask mother to come.
The lake track proved to be moderate walking through myrtle forest where the light is quite dim, in fact the weather turned fine without us knowing it. At last! We arrived at Cynthia Bay at 1 p m. feeling very hungry (and thirsty). Now we knew that the ranger here sold food, so his residence was our first stop. We asked for meat, bread and beer. Unhappily we received none of these and had to settle for tinned meat ant soft drinks.
At Cynthia Bay one may hire a bed in a hut for 4/6d. per day, actually the “huts” are cottages. They consist of a main room which serves as dining room and bedroom, and has a brick fireplace for cooking. There are two more bed rooms, a laundry and a kitchen. The best thing of all - you get water from taps, water buckets are obsolete! It was just like being at home except mother wasn't there to do my washing. After a lovely hot shower (we needed it) and lunch, Hans and I decided on a steak dinner that night. To obtain this steak it was necessary to walk three miles to Derwent Bridge Hotel, which by great coincidence also had vast stocks of brown amber liquid. Our worthy Austrian opined that seeing we got wet out side from rain we should also become wet inside to equalise the situation. A sure prevention against pneumonia, I was assured.
Smithy reckoned he wasn't going to walk three miles to get a steak, so we left him with his tinned tucker and set off down the road. On the road we found an Echidna, more commonly known as a spiny anteater. The little chap pulled in his head and huddled up in a ball so we waited silently, but he absolutely refused to pose for the camera. We got our steaks and I reckoned that was the best dinner I've ever had, well worth the six miles walk.
Early Wednesday morning we sorted out our gear and found we had two and a half packets of Rivita biscuits left. We seemed to have lost our taste for these but I couldn't give them away, so I fed the kangaroos which are always on land. One of the 'roos was bigger and more cunning than his mates. He came inside the hut and searched our packs in a way that suggested long experience in this practice. He was a very persistent character, requiring much effort and bribing to remove him.
The bus we rode to Hobart was very good. I'm sure any museum would be glad to have it. We arrived in Hobart about 3.30 p m. arrived after arranging transport booked in at the Y.M.C.A. There are four beds in each room,here so we found we had a room mate. The chap occupying our mew was halfway through a bottle of beverage and in a state of collapse. We left him lie (thinking of sleeping dogs, no doubt) and went out to see the town. When we returned the chap was out, we were tired so we said good night and rolled in.
Shortly after midnight there was much noise at the door, in bowled our roommate in company with two giant specimens who instructed him to pack his gear, Then they started to search the room. I wondered what in the heck was going on. The two big chaps suddenly seemed to realise we were there, they told us they were detectives and had caught the other fellow shop breaking. The detectives were very polite (to us anyhow) apologised for disturbing us, wished us a happy holiday aria carted our former “friend” off to the jug.
We had to spend the next day in Hobart awaiting transport, and spent the time casting air eyes over the town and surrounding countryside. Back to the Y.M.C.A. once more to find our selves with a new no a very nice chap this time, thank goodness. After sleeping on the wooden plank bunks in the reserve huts we found that Y.M.C.A. beds were too comfortable for us to sleep on.
Up bright and early Friday morning, in fact much too early far my liking. We managed to be in time to catch the bus to Hobart Airport and boarded the new Viscount II which flew us to Melbourne via Launceston. Of all the travelling we'd done this was the most comfortable and with the best service (the best price too). The aeroplane company had left little leaflets asking the passengers whether or not they liked the trip and requested we write down what we liked or disliked. We wrote that we liked the hostesses - very much so.
In Melbourne we had 8.5 hours to wait for the train. I thought our walking was over but we spent many hours walking around Melbourne. A very distressing habit this walking. After what seemed a lifetime we left on the train for Sydney. It was packed of course, so we sat up all the way. Sixteen weary hours later we arrived back in Sydney, three very upset citizens with a poor opinion of trains.
So our adventure cane to an end. The three of us had been good mates and it was with some feeling that we said goodbye after being together for two weeks. For my part I had thoroughly enjoyed the trip from beginning to end. I could not wish for two finer companions than Smithy, a gentleman of almost 60 from. the Burragorang Valley area and a very competent bushman, and Hans, a member of the Austrian Alpine Club and veteran of the MATTERHORN. Perhaps someday we be together again on another trip.
BACK OF THE CASTLE COUNTRY.
SEPTEMBER 2-3-4 Sassafras - The Vines - Yarmac's Track - Seven Gods Mountain - Rockclimbing - Sassafras. The best rock climbing country in the State. Unlimited new climbs on good rocks, to suit all tastes and abilities. If you don't climb, come along for the mighty views. New, improved approach route. Leader: Colin Putt.
After leaving Perth in the Constellation at 11.15 p m. we dropped in on Djakarta at 6 a m. on to the well-grassed bush drome surrounded by coconut palms and banana trees. Cloudy and steamy, even at that hour. First impressions of the locals, crowding in dozens around the terminals, peddling bikes along the taxiways, or driving big Mercedes on the roads; A pleasant, clean and intelligent looking crowd, although many incline to buck teeth. Rather handsome and shapely - both men and women - despite short, slender bodies.
Tried the local beer - free, why not? - and found it rather mindful of a good Burning Palms home brew. Quite nostalgic: I imagine you'd like it quite a lot after a few glasses, but I stopped at one - that was all that was free!
Two hours later at Singapore, 77 miles north of the Equator. Weather forecast on leaving Djakarta: “Fine and warm”. Reticent blokes, these meteorologists. I'd hate to be here when it is hot. Flying over the city I was agreeably surprised at the extent and modernity of the city and the European style settlement with its extensive areas of colourful, contemporary blocks of flats.
Arrived on the concrete and bags of confusion. The hostess announced that production of air restaurant vouchers would secure us a meal (now 4 hours since breakfast). Cantankerous type as I was alighting, I was bold enough to enquire “Wot vouchers?” “Haven't you got your voucher from the steward?” “No, nothing” I answered. “Nor us, either” chorussed the remaining passengers”.
Hurried consultation among stewards and hostesses; Knightley blocking the exit waiting for the verdict. “The ground hostess will arrange it”, they assured us. Down the gangway, two very eye-catching Malayan Airlines hostesses awaited us. I approached the prettiest and was sent to the other one to collect a yellow card. She sent me back again - without card. Other passengers ditto. We were ushered to a waiting bus; then turned round and ushered to another waiting bus; equanimity of passengers abating. Five hours since breakfast.
We were then driven to the transit passenger lounge. Some passports were collected; some were not. Some were handed back; others were retained. Passengers gesticulating and demanding “Why? Pourquoi? Nom de dios:” or anything else appropriate to their native lingo.
The pretty hostess, unperturbed, ushered us through to the restaurant - and the head serang of that demanded our vouchers! None being forthcoming, they sat us down in easy chairs near the windows - offered us a drink apiece.
“Brandy and port wine, please” I requested. “No, only one drink!” explained the Himalayan waiter. “Oh, well - brandy and soda, please”. I got it - one finger brandy; or bottle soda, no ice!
The pretty hostess by this time was feeding someone's baby. I wandered over. “This meal we're supposed to get - how about it?” “Oh, we don't give you a meal here. But I could get you a sandwich if you like.” I took the sandwich and started a landslide. Nearly six hours since breakfast and we were sure hungry; one and all demanded a sandwich.
Up and away again in the Comet 4 - up to 35,000 ft. and down again 45 minutes later at Kuala Lumpur. Seven hours since breakfast. Many adjectives describing Qantas. One cup of coffee made available at airport. I felt it drop through space and hit the bottom of my stomach.
Off again in the hot afternoon sun; up to 37,000 feet - and lunch! Just nine hours after breakfast. Touch down at Colombo - a surprisingly ramshackle airport - and then on to Karachi. The right way to see Karachi is to arrive by night and leave by day, for it is a veritable fairyland from the air in the darkness. By daylight, however, it is about the most dreary, desolute damp of a place I've ever seen. Crowds of Pakistanis milled around; and after the pretty, clean people of the earlier stops they were the most ragged, ugly, villainous looking, under-fed mob I've ever rubbed shoulders with. I felt glad I'd been vaccinated - that's just the way they looked.
On again - in darkness this time - to a long sleep above the clouds in the moonlight. I shan't describe Teheran. It's indescribable - to me, at any rate, because I stayed on the plane asleep. Athens at midnight and stretched the legs. Went through the door marked “Men”. Now, what would you expect the lav, to be built of in Athens? Marble? You're right! Quite a quaint affair - a pull-the-chain job, you know; but there's a tin hardby with a sign on it saying something like “Please put paper here; not down the waterhole”. The sign was in a foreign language - all Greek to me - but a lift of the lid was enough to tell me what it meant.
Frankfurt at 5 am - modern, clean and busy with an attractive beer garden. Up in the air again for breakfast and the final hop to London. And what would you expect for breakfast, leaving Frankfurt? Frankfurts; but of course: Also leberwurst and pickled cucumber. And then at last, London - miles and miles and miles of high-density. housing and lush green parks. But more of that some other time.
The Leyden-Colley group has been further exploring the country North of Mt. Wilson. Bungleboori Creek would appear to be a hard creek to get into and rather harder to get out of.
The leader reports that the August Bank Holiday trip resolved into a “cloud bank holiday”, commencing with thunderstorms on Saturday night. A comfortable Sunday night was spent on Mrs. Carlon's verandah! Creeks were naturally running bonkers. Ooh-er.